In the Old Testament, "reverence" occurs as the translation of two Hebrew words, yare' and shachah. The root idea of the former is "fear." It is used to express the attitude toward God Himself, as in Psalms 89:7 the King James Version; or toward His sanctuary, as in Leviticus 19:30; 26:2. So the group of ideas there would be "fear," "awe," "reverence." The root idea of the second is "falling down," as prostration of the body. It is used to express the bearing toward another who is considered superior, as in 2 Samuel 9:6 the King James Version; 1 Kings 1:31 the King James Version; Esther 3:2,5. The group of ideas here, therefore, is "honor," "obeisance," "reverence."
In the New Testament "reverence" occurs as the translation of three Greek words, aidos, phobeomai, and entrepomai. In the first, the idea is "modesty" (Hebrews 12:28; compare 1 Timothy 2:9). In the second, "fear" (Ephesians 5:33 the King James Version), though here it is used to set forth the attitude of proper subjection on the part of a wife toward her husband (compare 1 Peter 3:2,5). In the third, the idea is that of the "self-valuation of inferiority," and so sets forth an attitude toward another of doing him honor (Matthew 21:37; Mark 12:6; Luke 20:13; Hebrews 12:9).
In the Apocrypha entrepomai occurs in The Wisdom of Solomon 2:10; Sirach 4:22. In addition, proskuneo, "make obeisance," occurs in Judith 10:23; 14:7; thaumazo, "wonder," Sirach 7:29, and aischunomai, "be ashamed," Baruch 4:15.
"Reverend" occurs in the Old Testament in Psalms 111:9, of the name of God (yare'), and in the Apocrypha in 2 Macc 15:12, "a man reverend (aidemon, "modest") in bearing," and in the New Testament the Revised Version (British and American) has "reverent in demeanor" (hieroprepes) in Titus 2:3 and "reverend" in Philippians 4:8 margin (semnos).
E. J. Forrester
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